At some point in our lives, we’ve all needed a mentor to guide us toward success, or to simply just give us some words of wisdom to enable us to see a new perspective. For many people, supervisors at work undertake the role of mentors to help you build your confidence so that you can be self-efficacious in your career. Internship supervisors in particular are tasked with building up people professionally and holistically. They are experts at giving comprehensive feedback to interns like you in order to scaffold your progress and to ensure that you improve in your professional ability so that you can make the most out of your learning curve. In a world where networking skills are necessary in any industry, a huge benefit of internships are the relationships you have with your supervisors. But what if you’re feeling a bit shy, or nervous to build rapport?
Here’s a few tips to give you the insight on what you can do to help build better relationships with your supervisors, so that your network of professional contacts is the most advantageous it can be for your career.
1. Ask open-ended questions
Having a curious mind will get you places. It’s one thing to place thought in your career, but it’s so exciting for a supervisor when interns show an active interest in building their professional skills and knowledge. A great way to show your keen and sincere interest in getting to know your industry of choice in more detail is through asking open-ended questions. Your supervisor will appreciate the level of intention you’re putting behind the internship experience, and the perspective you’ll gain by asking questions that require in-depth answers will give you insight into the industry.
2. Show initiative
A helpful hand around the office is worth its weight in gold. Supervisors are looking for people who take initiative in their day to day working schedule. An intern who has the perspective to look for things that could be done or to come up with new tasks shows that you are gaining independence in your role, which in turn demonstrates to your supervisor that their mentoring is working.
3. Believe in your ability as an intern
Sincere positivity in the workplace is infectious, and you can contribute to ensuring that the culture of the office remains uplifting and supportive of all who enter the premises. Believing in your own ability will not only make you perform to a higher standard, but it will also make your supervisors feel like they have forged enough of a meaningful connection to build upon your opportunities and successes.
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4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Interns at the beginning of their career might feel like it’s difficult to ask for help, even if they have the confidence to believe in their own ability. The truth is that we all need assistance and guidance from someone who has experience in order to improve our skills, no matter how high our confidence is. Asking for help can be as simple as needing a sounding board for your ideas, or. No matter what, asking for help is something that professionals in your industry will do all the time.
It’s important to have a supervisor that believes in you and can help build your confidence.
Networking is all about building robust professional relationships with people who you would like to support you in your career endeavours. Your internship supervisor will guide you toward success through a scaffolded program, but you can meet your supervisor halfway. Asking open-ended questions will demonstrate your ability to think outside the box and show that you’re up to date on industry trends, two things that make for great conversation with your supervisor. An intern who shows initiative is one who can be a stand out candidate in the eyes of supervisors – one who always looks to see what can be done is a trustworthy and diligent worker. Most importantly, it’s crucial to believe in yourself and to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Your ability to be successful is something that is waiting for you to nurture through the guidance of a supervisor. Being confident and comfortable enough to ask for advice or feedback is a sure way to build a positive and long lasting rapport with your supervisor. If you’re looking for the type of supervisor that you can consult after your internship and network, then following these tips will ensure your success in creating a mutually beneficial relationship with your supervisor.
Want to put these points into gear and build robust professional relationships with your supervisors, in an internship placement and further along in the workplace? Have a browse through the Premium Graduate Placements blog to see more tips.